Last week my husband and I were talking about how much "allowance" we would get each week - to get lunch out, to spend on whatever, to save for a larger purchase, etc. We decided to take an amount of money out to see how it went, since we will be doing the plan starting the first of the year.
I took my allowance out on Monday. I thought I was doing pretty well because on Thursday I still had a considerable amount of money left. I decided that since I had a handful of good coupons for the mall, I would go and spend a little money.
First purchase was at Sears, I had a $10 off $20 coupon and I have had my eye on a new wallet for some time. Since I will start carrying cash, I needed a wallet that had room for that. I also got some slipper socks to complete a Christmas gift (not in the allowance money) so I spent $11, part from the allowance.
Next stop was Hallmark, where I had a $5 off of a $5 purchase. Their wrapping paper was 4.99 and the second roll was .99 so I got two rolls of wrapping paper for around 1.30. So this will help me wrap my gifts!
I had a $10 Build a Bear voucher, so I decided to go and buy the little "motorcycle" jacket that Braden had been eyeing up last time we were there.... which only was $2.50 with the voucher... somewhere around $3.
After that was to go and spend my $10 Victoria's Secret "birthday" coupon. I chose my favorite perfume/body spray from there in a trial size.... so there was the $10.
I ended the night by using a Free Annie's pretzel coupon that was on the front of my Scholastic Parent & Child magazine.
After the mall, I visited Walgreen's to use my Jingle Cash and Register Rewards ($19!)
So ... when I got home I was so proud of the purchases that I made,.spending basically under $10 of my own money for all of those things. Then I realized that I only had $3 left, where I should have had at least $17-20 left. I felt so irresponsible... carrying money around is such a difference if you're used to the debit card way of things.
I showed my husband all of my purchases, and I was proud of myself for not spending much and coming back with so much. Then I explained to him that I lost the rest of my allowance, and the next day I would have to pack lunch instead of going out for the treat on Friday like my work group always does. He said to me, "Go anyway! Enjoy yourself!" Well, my #1 rule for the "allowance" was ... no excuses! If you run out of money, no excuses! So I included myself in that rule when I lost the money.
Fortunately at work on Friday I didn't miss not going to lunch because I had a work "crisis" and had to work through lunch anyway, and I stayed at my one office, where none of my work friends were working that day anyway. We had a food day the day before so I even got to eat free food that day!
So my lessons from week 1 learned:
1. Be careful with cash! Watch what you are doing at the checkout to make sure that you have everything in your hand before you step away.
2. Stick to the plan! Paying down our debt will only come as a result of one thing - sacrifice. If we keep buying whatever we want all the time, or "treating ourselves", or being weak, we will never get out of this situation.